The Saxo Bank-Sungard squad has announced its complete 25-rider roster for the 2011 season ahead of the team’s first get-together in Fuerteventura on Sunday – which will be attended by Alberto Contador.

Bjarne Riis’s team has perhaps been in the headlines more for the riders that it has lost, rather than those it has signed. But the top-ranked squad in the UCI’s 2010 World Ranking still has some big hitters despite the loss of Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt and Stuart O’Grady.

One name on the list is Alberto Contador. Riis signed the 2010 Tour de France winner prior to the announcement that the Spaniard had tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol during the Tour.

Contador is no embroiled in an investigation into the positive test, which he blames on contaminated meat consumed during the Tour’s rest day in Pau. Whilst the investigation is continuing, Contador cannot race – but he will still be present at the team’s two-week camp in Fuerteventura.

“I think it is important, that we all remember, that Alberto is not guilty until a judgment is made that indicates something otherwise,” said Riis.

“This has been the message from the UCI, and I think we should all respect that. We have also met with the UCI, and they have assured us that there are no problems in taking Alberto to our team building camp.”

Britain’s Jonny Bellis has also be retained for 2011. Bellis returned to racing in June after spending nine months off the bike as a result of a serious scooter accident in Italy that left the Manxman in a coma for a month.

Saxo Bank-Sungard 2011 roster
Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina)
Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Argentina)
Richie Porte (Australia)
David Tanner (Australia)
Baden Cooke (Australia)
Nick Nuyens (Belgium)
Michael Mørkøv (Denmark)
Kasper Klostergaard (Denmark)
Mads Christensen (Denmark)
Brian Vandborg (Denmark)
André Steensen (Denmark)
Jonas Aaen (Denmark)
Chris Anker Sørensen (Denmark)
Nicki Sørensen (Denmark)
Jonathan Bellis (Great Britain)
Matteo Tosatto (Italy)
Manuele Boaro (Italy)
Laurent Didier (Luxembourg)
Marycz Jaroslaw (Poland)
Alberto Contador (Spain)
Benjamin Noval (Spain)
Daniel Navarro (Spain)
Jesus Hernandez (Spain)
Gustav Larsson (Sweden)
Volodimir Gustov (Ukraine) 

 

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  • adam

    Jon – you echo my thoughts entirely

  • Jon

    “I think it is important, that we all remember, that Alberto is not guilty until a judgement is made that indicates something otherwise”

    Ignoring the fact that he’s either saying the opposite of what he means or has been quoted out of context and ‘otherwise’ refers to a previous assertion of his innocence, there’s a difference between not being guilty and not being found guilty.

    You might as well say he’s not guilty if he gets away with it. Clenbuterol and plasticisers? You’d have to be very naive to think he hadn’t been up to anything even if commercial interests dictate that he gets off the hook somehow.

  • Martin lynch

    He gets a lot of stick Riis but its great to see Jonny Bellis still on the team. Well done Team Saxo Bank

  • theswordsman

    It will be good for Contador to have two normal weeks after the month under a UCI gag order and then the press onslaught with rumors and experts, and dealing with lawyers. Fourteen or fifteen days riding bikes with friends on new routes should help him a lot.